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Statement by the Primates' Standing Committee on the Windsor Report 2004

Posted on: October 20, 2004 11:22 AM
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The Primates' Standing Committee, meeting in London, between 18 and 20 October, 2004, received the Windsor Report at the same time that copies of the report were circulated to the Primates at 9.00am prior to its publication at 12 noon here in London.

We would like to begin by thanking Archbishop Robin Eames and his Commission, together with the staff who supported them, for the hard work and dedication which is represented by this document. The Commission members came from a wide range of geographical backgrounds, and brought many different perspectives to their work. That they have been able to commend this report unanimously to the members of the Anglican Communion is a sign of hope to our Communion. If there is a real desire to walk together in our discipleship of Christ, then a course can be plotted to maintain the highest degree of Communion possible, in spite of differences about the way in which Christ's Gospel is to be interpreted in a diverse and troubled world.

We welcome this report as a comprehensive presentation of the tradition and practice of the Anglican Communion. There is much in this report which is challenging, but it points us in a sound direction for the resolution of current tensions. It is an invitation to the entire Communion to reflect on our life together. We are conscious of the concerns of those groups whose expectations have not been met, but we are very encouraged by the broad welcome and support that the report has received from many throughout the Communion. As the Primates' Standing Committee it is now our task to put into place the best possible preparations for a considered discussion of the Windsor Report at the meeting of the Primates in Northern Ireland in February 2005.

To this end, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, we have established a Reception Reference Group, to be chaired by the Most Revd Peter Kwong, Primate of Hong Kong, which will be charged with receiving and co-ordinating initial responses to the Windsor Report in preparation for the Primates' Meeting. Further details of the membership and work of this Reference Group will be published in due course. We hope that all the Provinces of the Anglican Communion, together with other organisations and our ecumenical partners, will join in a conversation with this reception group. In particular, the Reception Reference Group will wish to engage as much as possible with the 78 million members of our forty-four churches, and will explore ways of doing this effectively.

London, 20 October 2004